Discussion:
Einstein's Definition of Theory
(trop ancien pour répondre)
Pentcho Valev
2018-01-23 11:45:53 UTC
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Albert Einstein: "Guided by empirical data, the investigator rather develops a system of thought which, in general, is built up logically from a small number of fundamental assumptions, the so-called axioms." https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/einstein/works/1910s/relative/ap03.htm

If this definition is correct (I think it is in fundamental physics), any author should be able to show the set of axioms to critics. He/she should also be able to clearly demonstrate the sequence of arguments leading from the axioms to any conclusion of his/her theory.

Critics look for false axioms and invalid (the conclusion does not follow from the premises) arguments. If they are unable to find any, all the conclusions of the theory are accepted as true.

Pentcho Valev
Pentcho Valev
2018-01-24 08:47:22 UTC
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Essentially the same definition here:

"By a theory I shall mean the deductive closure of a set of theoretical postulates together with an appropriate set of auxiliary hypotheses; that is, everything that can be deduced from this set." W. H. Newton-Smith, THE RATIONALITY OF SCIENCE, p. 199 http://cdn.preterhuman.net/texts/thought_and_writing/philosophy/rationality%20of%20science.pdf

If the author is unable to show the "set of theoretical postulates" ("small number of fundamental assumptions, the so-called axioms") so that critics could check (for validity) the deductive chains leading from postulates to conclusions, his/her theory is not even wrong.

Pentcho Valev

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